Most homeowners, no matter how proficient in home improvements they are, will look to hire a contractor at some point in time. “Major remodeling projects rarely go as planned, but bringing in the right people can ensure any bumps in the road are smoothed over as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible,” says Craig Blanchard, broker-owner with Royal LePage Atlantic Homestead in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Blanchard recommends these guidelines for a successful remodelling project:
Start with recommendations from others. Look to people you trust for recommendations in hiring a contractor. If the contractor you approach is not available, ask for recommendations via their network of business relationships. Good contractors preserve their reputation by working with good subcontractors, so it’s worthwhile to ask for referrals. Meet with at least three different contractors before choosing one.
Use common sense and never allow yourself to be persuaded into a commitment. Beware of pressure tactics and turn away anyone who states “I can do this for you if you sign the contract today.” If you are wary of a contractor’s credibility, contact the Better Business Bureau to learn if they have been reported for shoddy work or bad business practices.
Know exactly what you want, before entering into a contract or finalizing your plans. Be sure of all costs, and make sure the specifications are outlined in full on the contract to avoid misunderstandings. Define brands, model numbers, manufacturers, colours and any other descriptive language. Do not allow substitutions without your consent.
Maintain control of your project. If a contractor tells you they can’t get an item, check availability yourself. Use your own judgement being aware of substitutions and extras.
For a successful home renovation, research potential contractors thoroughly; establish clear specifications, and; stick to your plan.
More information can be found online at www.royallepage.ca.
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